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Entrepreneurial by Design

BNO’s entrepreneurs are bold, creative, and ready for anything


1. Entrepreneurship is a creative act.

Associate Creative Director Kelly Dress points to the strong correlation between entrepreneurship and creativity: “In the process of creative thinking and brainstorming, you are problem solving for anything. That kind of quick thinking and ideating outside of the box is the essence of success for ourselves and our clients.”



2. Empathy sparks creativity.

Our experiences as business owners make us much more responsive to the challenges our clients are facing. “As I sit across the table and listen to them,” says Creative Director John Shanley, “I understand the responsibility and weight on their shoulders, as I’ve felt that responsibility myself.” Beverly Thomas, VP of Marketing, adds, “Working in a boutique agency allows us to work very closely with our clients at a strategic level. I can actually ‘feel their pain.’ That makes me better prepared to deliver pragmatic solutions that produce measurable business results.”


3. For best results, collaborate.

Early in her career, CEO Trista Walker heard a great piece of advice. “Being an entrepreneur means you have to be 100x more collaborative,” she recalls. “Surround yourself with the smartest, most creative people you can find and listen to them.”

“Sure, I have tons of ideas—but I can’t tell you how many times a colleague has made my idea way better or saved me from making a misstep.” 


4. Being an entrepreneur can boost your creativity.

>Director of Business Services Laura McLaughlin says she’s learned to “become comfortable with not always knowing the right answer.” She observes, “Successful entrepreneurs are not afraid to take a risk. They’re willing to try new things until something ‘works.’”
Shanley agrees, “Owning a business doesn’t come with a how-to manual. There’s no one on your shoulder telling you what to do next. It’s a blank slate. Filling in that slate takes imagination, planning, and dreaming. These are things that make me a better storyteller to our clients as I help craft their stories.”
For Molly Millis, Sr. Strategist and Planner, the time she spent as an entrepreneur taught her how to thrive in uncertainty and land on her feet. “The phrase ‘that’s not my job’ was never an option—I had to do it all. I had been zoomed in but being an entrepreneur made me zoom out.”


5. We see blue skies instead of parking lots.

“Some entrepreneurs imagine a world with a new invention or service and make it happen,” says Walker. “Others see a better way to do something. And some see—and seize—the opportunity to be their own boss and make their own way. The most successful entrepreneurs are willing to put themselves out there every single day. They risk failure and emotional and financial capital, knowing that some ideas may fall flat and others will soar.” 


6. The best entrepreneurs are dreamers and doers. 

Entrepreneurs see the world as full of possibilities. It’s this realm of possibilities that inspires and motivates us to innovate and excel at BNO. 
Walker envisions BNO as a place where independent, creative thinkers can grow and thrive. “Our independent and boldly creative mindset—the same qualities that make for a great entrepreneur—is what has helped us grow for 40 years,” she says. “We make decisions, we make mistakes, we solve problems, we develop new creative solutions. And we do this every single day on every single team.” Walker believes that this process keeps BNO’s staff deeply engaged—it’s also one of the reasons why BNO was just named a Best Place to Work by NJBIZ.

Our entrepreneurial work ethic means that we bring our bold, passionate, and collaborative selves to work every day. Curious to learn more?  Reach out to us today.